Winona D. Nash History Award
The Winona D. Nash History Award is given in honor of long-time Township Historian and Society member, Winona Nash. It is presented to a high school senior who has demonstrated excellence in history, as determine by high school faculty. The award includes:
family membership in the Society
a recent book on US history
The award is conferred annually in June at Lawrence High School during the Senior Awards Ceremony.
Winona Nash was instrumental in establishing the society and worked tirelessly in collecting and archiving thousands of documents, photographs, and artifacts as part of the township’s historical collection. She was Lawrence Township Historian from 1989-2002.
Nash was the very personification of our Township’s history, so it is especially appropriate for us here at Lawrence’s 306th birthday party to remember her many contributions to the preservation of our historical record.
Lawrence Township Council appointed Nash as Lawrence Historian in January, 1989. The Lawrence Room, which became Nash's domain, was established at the Mercer County Library on January 30, 1993. The collection was opened to the public on February 28th of that year. Always accurate with records, Nash once noted that she had spent 4, 655.5 hours there. Nash believed that the historical record should become available to students and researches, and she was very helpful to all who came to her for information in the Lawrence Room.
When she assumed the task, Nash was confronted with piles of disorganized historical material (which had been saved by the first township's historian, Bob Immordino). Nash spent hours sifting through papers, deciding which to save, how to catalog, and securing the acid free receptacles for permanent preservation.
Nash thought that there should be a map showing the boundaries of the lands owned by the residents of Maidenhead in 1776. When she conceived the plan for the map, she expected to present it to the township on July 4, 1976 as part of the bicentennial. The complex project, undertaken by Nash and her assistant, Terry Ford, took a year longer. They started from scratch, looking for deeds under the names of settlers who signed a 1703 land-buying agreement. Information was gleaned from deeds, tax records, road surveys and scattered collections of historical materials. When pieces of the puzzle were complete, a historical cartographer volunteered to put the map together. The map shows the locations of farms, their owners, original roads, streams and historic notes. .
She was creative, practical and a visionary. At her suggestion, the $50,000 realized from the sale of the Township owned Monroe historic house was applied to the future restoration of the Brearley House. Numerous town officials have their special memories of working with Winnie— pauper’s cemetery, Princeton Pike cemetery, insistence on an accurate Township seal and preservation of the Brearley Oak.
Mei Lai Costa